Somewhere on your company’s website, it probably says that you’re a customer-centric business. Your pitch probably mentions that you’re aligned with the success of your customers and that you are in touch with customer needs. So here’s the question: what are you doing to make sure that everyone at the company really cares about customer pain and success?
Does your sales team care about customer success, or do they only become interested when contracts are up for renewal? Does your marketing team truly understand your customers’ pain, or do they just want to understand the demographics to adjust their ad spend? Does the development team know where the pain points are in your product, or do they just trust the product manager to tell them what to fix?
There’s one department that always knows how customers are doing and cares deeply about solving their problems. Every day, customer service staff hear from users or customers who are experiencing difficulty with your product, and they work to resolve these issues. Service reps feel a very real pain when a customer can’t login, loses data, or struggles with usability. When the issue is resolved, they share in the success of customers. That tight alignment with customers makes everyone better at their jobs:
- Salespeople cite specific success stories other customers are having with your product
- Marketing addresses real pain points with the right targeted content
- Product managers prioritize their roadmap more effectively
- Developers get a tangible understanding of the pain their code creates and makes adjustments to avoid it in the future
So how do you get everyone to care about customer service?
Make Customer Service Relevant to Everyone in the Organization
Rather famously, Amazon has all of its managers attend call-center training each year to instill humility and empathy for the customer. This is an enviable approach and shows true dedication to customers. At InsightSquared, every new product manager is required to sit with our Chaps (Customer Happiness) team in their first week and help answer tickets. It makes customer pain very real for us, and we take that with us as we work on new features.
There are drawbacks, however.
It requires a certain amount of scale and a sizable organizational commitment. Not every company can afford to pull a developer out of the codebase and onto Zendesk for a day. Not every CEO or VP of Sales is going to agree that it’s a good use of time for a top salesperson to hang up the phone and pick up a ticket.
There are other, less expensive ways of elevating your team’s awareness of what’s happening in customer service. Weekly reports can serve as helpful reminders to get people thinking about customer pain. Tying it to something like churn risk makes it more immediately relevant to your team. They might not feel the pain as apparently, but at least they’ll be triggered to think about it on a regular basis.
It’s also just as important to highlight the bright spots. We have an email alias at InsightSquared that’s just for sharing successes. Frequently, it features feedback we get from customers after they’ve worked with our Chaps team. The quality of service our Chaps deliver is a source of pride for the company, and it makes everyone feel great to know when customers appreciate their hard work.
If you’re worried about emails getting lost in overloaded inboxes, you could build a customer service dashboard that’s displayed on a TV in the office. Dashboards like the ones below let anyone walking by see how the service team is doing and, by extension, how customers are doing. If you’re using InsightSquared’s Free Sales Leaderboard for Salesforce, a service dashboard would make a great companion.
Regardless of your team size or the number of TVs in your office, there are ways of making customer service a part of everyone’s routine. This has a number of far-reaching benefits. For starters, it will change the way people think about the service team. Done well, customer service protects revenue, bolsters the brand, and becomes a marketable differentiator for the company. When you make customer pain real for people, it creates a stronger sense of ownership and obligation. If you want to be customer-centric, then everyone should be feeling the customer’s pain.